Semantic shift in Middle English: FARMING and TRADE as test cases

Sylvester, L.M., Tiddeman, M. and Ingham, R. 2022. Semantic shift in Middle English: FARMING and TRADE as test cases. Transactions of the Philological Society. 120 (3), pp. 427-446. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-968X.12249

TitleSemantic shift in Middle English: FARMING and TRADE as test cases
TypeJournal article
AuthorsSylvester, L.M., Tiddeman, M. and Ingham, R.
Abstract

This paper presents a study undertaken as part of the Technical Language and Semantic Shift in Middle English project. Our dataset (totalling 4,628 words and 2,215 senses) is drawn from an expanded corpus of the Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England. This lexis has been arranged into a semantic hierarchy, based on the categories devised for the Historical Thesaurus of English, in order to address a much discussed feature of language change that has not been investigated using a lexical corpus. The project aims to use this digitised hypernymic framework to track shift at various levels of technicality, collate data on borrowing and obsolescence, and examine the linguistic ecology of the Middle English period from a semantic-hierarchic viewpoint.

Autohyponyms from two domains (Farming and Trade) were collated and compared with the wider corpus for specificity, lexicalisation and language of origin. Our findings suggest that terms which narrow or broaden in meaning tend to start off at the more general levels of the hierarchy and shift from semantic spaces which have a higher than average number of co-hyponyms. Autohyponyms appear more likely to be of French than of Old English origin, prompting further questions about borrowing and sense development.

JournalTransactions of the Philological Society
Journal citation120 (3), pp. 427-446
ISSN0079-1636
1467-968X
Year2022
PublisherWiley
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-968X.12249
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-968X.12249
Publication dates
Published22 Nov 2022
FunderLeverhulme Trust

Related outputs

Libri alienigeni: Evidence of Anglo-Italian language contact from the fifteenth-century port of Southampton
Tiddeman, M. 2023. Libri alienigeni: Evidence of Anglo-Italian language contact from the fifteenth-century port of Southampton. in: Languages and Cross-Cultural Exchanges in Renaissance Italy Brepols.

Lexical replacement, retention and borrowing in Middle English: A case study
Sylvester, L.M., Tiddeman, M. and Ingham, R. 2023. Lexical replacement, retention and borrowing in Middle English: A case study. in: Language contact and the History of English: Processes and Effects on Specific Text-Types Peter Lang. pp. 165-187

The Cantelowe Accounts - Multilingual merchant records from Tuscany, 1450-1451
Tiddeman, M. 2022. The Cantelowe Accounts - Multilingual merchant records from Tuscany, 1450-1451. Oxford University Press.

The lexicalization of the idea of fashion in later medieval Britain
Sylvester, L.M. 2022. The lexicalization of the idea of fashion in later medieval Britain. in: Baicchi, A. and Biscetti, S. (ed.) The Language of Fashion: Linguistic, Cognitive and Cultural Insights Peter Lang.

Lexical Borrowing in the Middle English period: A multi-domain analysis of semantic outcomes
Sylvester, L.M., Tiddeman, M. and Ingham, R. 2022. Lexical Borrowing in the Middle English period: A multi-domain analysis of semantic outcomes. English Language and Linguistics. 26 (2), pp. 237-261. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674321000113

Lone other-language items in later medieval texts
Ingham, R., Sylvester, L.M. and Marcus, I. 2021. Lone other-language items in later medieval texts. Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics. 7 (2), pp. 179-205. https://doi.org/10.1515/jhsl-2019-0030

More sugar and spice: Revisiting medieval Italian influence on the mercantile lexis of England
Tiddeman, M. 2020. More sugar and spice: Revisiting medieval Italian influence on the mercantile lexis of England. in: Wright, L. (ed.) The Multilingual Origins of Standard English de Gruyter Mouton. pp. 381-410

An analysis of French borrowings at the hypernymic and hyponymic levels of Middle English
Sylvester, L.M., Tiddeman, M. and Ingham, R. 2020. An analysis of French borrowings at the hypernymic and hyponymic levels of Middle English. Lexis: Journal of English Lexicology. 16. https://doi.org/10.4000/lexis.3576

The role of multilingualism in the emergence of a technical register in the Middle English period
Sylvester, L.M. 2020. The role of multilingualism in the emergence of a technical register in the Middle English period. in: Wright, L. (ed.) The Multilingual Origins of Standard English de Gruyter Mouton.

Narrative in Keywords for Today
Sylvester, L.M. 2019. Narrative in Keywords for Today. Critical Quarterly. 61 (3), pp. 39-41. https://doi.org/10.1111/criq.12486

Penetration of French-origin lexis in Middle English occupational domains
Ingham, R., Sylvester, L.M. and Marcus, I. 2019. Penetration of French-origin lexis in Middle English occupational domains. in: Cennamo, M. and Fabrizio, C. (ed.) Historical Linguistics 2015: Selected papers from the 22nd International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Naples, 27-31 July 2015 Amsterdam John Benjamins. pp. 460-478

The Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England
Sylvester, L.M. and Ingham, R. 2019. The Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England.

The Role of Technical Vocabulary in the Construction of the Medieval Romance Text Type
Sylvester, L.M. 2019. The Role of Technical Vocabulary in the Construction of the Medieval Romance Text Type. Journal of English and Germanic Philology. 118 (1), pp. 73-99. https://doi.org/10.5406/jenglgermphil.118.1.0073

Southampton and the later medieval textile trade - Encyclopaedia of Dress and Textiles in the British Isles c.450-1450
Tiddeman, M. 2018. Southampton and the later medieval textile trade - Encyclopaedia of Dress and Textiles in the British Isles c.450-1450. Brill.

Alum - Encyclopaedia of Dress and Textiles in the British Isles c.450-1450
Tiddeman, M. 2018. Alum - Encyclopaedia of Dress and Textiles in the British Isles c.450-1450. Brill.

Lexical exchange with Italian in the textile and wool trades in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries
Tiddeman, M. 2018. Lexical exchange with Italian in the textile and wool trades in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Medieval Clothing and Textiles. 14, pp. 113-140.

Contact effects on the technical lexis of Middle English: A semantic hierarchic approach
Sylvester, L.M. 2018. Contact effects on the technical lexis of Middle English: A semantic hierarchic approach. English Language and Linguistics. 22 (Special Issue 2), pp. 249-264. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674318000126

A Semantic Field and Text-Type Approach to Late-Medieval Multilingualism
Sylvester, L.M. 2018. A Semantic Field and Text-Type Approach to Late-Medieval Multilingualism. in: Pahta, P., Skaffari, J. and Wright, L. (ed.) Multilingual Practices in Language History: English and Beyond Berlin de Gruyter Mouton. pp. 77-96

Early Anglo-Italian contact: new loanword evidence from two mercantile sources, 1440–1451
Tiddeman, M. 2017. Early Anglo-Italian contact: new loanword evidence from two mercantile sources, 1440–1451. in: Wagner, E.M., Beinhoff, B. and Outhwaite, B. (ed.) Merchants of Innovation: The Languages of Traders de Gruyter Mouton. pp. 217-234

Dress, Fashion and Anti-Fashion in the Medieval Imagination
Sylvester, L.M. 2017. Dress, Fashion and Anti-Fashion in the Medieval Imagination. in: Bintley, M., Locker, M., Symons, V. and Wellesley, M. (ed.) Stasis in the Medieval West? Questioning Change and Continuity Palgrave Macmillan.

Blunder, Error, Mistake, Pitfall: Trawling the OED with the Help of the Historical Thesaurus
Roberts, J. and Sylvester, L.M. 2017. Blunder, Error, Mistake, Pitfall: Trawling the OED with the Help of the Historical Thesaurus. Altre Modernità. 04/2017, pp. 18-35. https://doi.org/10.13130/2035-7680/8299

Studying French-Origin Middle English Lexis Using the Bilingual Thesaurus of Medieval England: A Comparison of the Vocabulary of Two Occupational Domains
Sylvester, L.M. and Marcus, I. 2017. Studying French-Origin Middle English Lexis Using the Bilingual Thesaurus of Medieval England: A Comparison of the Vocabulary of Two Occupational Domains. in: Delesse, C. and Louviot, E. (ed.) Studies in Language Variation and Change 2: Shifting, Switching and Alternating Patterns in the History of English Newcastle upon Tyne Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 217-228

A Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England: Some Issues at the Interface of Semantics and Lexicography
Sylvester, L.M., Marcus, I. and Ingham, R. 2017. A Bilingual Thesaurus of Everyday Life in Medieval England: Some Issues at the Interface of Semantics and Lexicography. International Journal of Lexicography. 30 (3), pp. 309-321. https://doi.org/10.1093/ijl/ecw018

The Language of Dress and Textiles in Wills of the Old English Period
Sylvester, L.M. 2016. The Language of Dress and Textiles in Wills of the Old English Period. in: Hyer, M.C. and Frederick, J. (ed.) Textiles, Text, Intertext: Essays in Honour of Gale R. Owen-Crocker Boydell & Brewer. pp. 27-41

Technical Vocabulary and Medieval Text Types: A Semantic Field Approach
Sylvester, L.M. 2016. Technical Vocabulary and Medieval Text Types: A Semantic Field Approach. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen. 117 (1), pp. 155-176. https://doi.org/10.5406/jenglgermphil.118.1.0073

Middle English Style
Sylvester, L.M. 2015. Middle English Style. in: Sotirova, V. (ed.) The Bloomsbury Companion to Stylistics London Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 583-606

Mercantile multilingualism: two examples of Anglo-Norman and Italian contact in the fourteenth century
Tiddeman, M. 2012. Mercantile multilingualism: two examples of Anglo-Norman and Italian contact in the fourteenth century. in: Trotter, D. (ed.) Present and future research in Anglo-Norman: Aberystwyth Colloquium, July 2011 The Anglo-Norman On-Line Hub. pp. 91-99

Multilingualism in the vocabulary of dress and textiles in late medieval Britain: some issues for historical lexicology
Sylvester, L.M. and Chambers, M. 2012. Multilingualism in the vocabulary of dress and textiles in late medieval Britain: some issues for historical lexicology. in: Hegedus, I. and Fodor, A. (ed.) English historical linguistics 2010 John Benjamins. pp. 313-326

Mining for gold: investigating a semantic classification in the lexis of cloth and clothing
Sylvester, L.M. 2012. Mining for gold: investigating a semantic classification in the lexis of cloth and clothing. in: Netherton, R. and Owen-Crocker, G. (ed.) Medieval Clothing and Textiles Boydell.

Middle English: semantics and the lexicon
Sylvester, L.M. 2012. Middle English: semantics and the lexicon. in: Brinton, L. and Bergs, A. (ed.) Historical linguistics of English: an international handbook Berlin De Gruyter. pp. 450-466

The lexis of cloth and clothing in Britain c.700-1450: origins. identification, contexts and change
Owen-Crocker, G., Warr, C., Sylvester, L.M., Pritchard, F., Chambers, M., Rutten, S., Zumbuhl, M., Risley, D., Scully, A., Hayes, M., Williams, P., Lorimer, R., Lorimer, P., Walker, P. and Bouhafna, E. 2012. The lexis of cloth and clothing in Britain c.700-1450: origins. identification, contexts and change. Manchester University of Manchester.

The roles of reader construal and lexicographic authority in the interpretation of Middle English texts
Sylvester, L.M. 2010. The roles of reader construal and lexicographic authority in the interpretation of Middle English texts. in: Winters, M., Tissari, H. and Allen, K. (ed.) Historical cognitive linguistics Berlin de Gruyter Mouton. pp. 197-222

Lexicological confusion and medieval clothing culture: redressing medieval dress with the Lexis of Cloth and Clothing in Britain Project
Chambers, M. and Sylvester, L.M. 2010. Lexicological confusion and medieval clothing culture: redressing medieval dress with the Lexis of Cloth and Clothing in Britain Project. in: Hamling, T. and Richardson, C. (ed.) Everyday objects: medieval and early modern material culture and its meanings Aldershot Ashgate. pp. 71-84

From apareil to warderobe: some observations on Anglo-French in the Middle English
Chambers, M. and Sylvester, L.M. 2010. From apareil to warderobe: some observations on Anglo-French in the Middle English. in: Ingham, R. (ed.) The Anglo-Norman language and its contexts York York Medieval Press. pp. 63-73

'Romance', 'Dream Vision', 'Sir Amadace', ,Sir Cleges', 'Sir Degaré', 'Sir Launfal', 'Sir Tristrem'
Sylvester, L.M. 2008. 'Romance', 'Dream Vision', 'Sir Amadace', ,Sir Cleges', 'Sir Degaré', 'Sir Launfal', 'Sir Tristrem'. in: Sauer, M. (ed.) The Facts on File companion to British poetry before 1600 New York Facts on File.

Medieval romance and the construction of heterosexuality
Sylvester, L.M. 2008. Medieval romance and the construction of heterosexuality. Basingstoke, UK Palgrave Macmillan.

Teaching the language of Chaucer
Sylvester, L.M. 2007. Teaching the language of Chaucer. in: Ashton, G. and Sylvester, L.M. (ed.) Teaching Chaucer Basingstoke ; New York Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 81-95

Forces of change: are social and moral attitudes legible in this historical thesaurus classification
Sylvester, L.M. 2006. Forces of change: are social and moral attitudes legible in this historical thesaurus classification. in: Caie, G.D., Hough, C. and Wotherspoon, I. (ed.) The power of words: essays in lexicography, lexicology and semantics: in honour of Christian J. Kay Amsterdam Rodopi.

Evidence for diachronic semantic change in the historical thesaurus of English: a cognitive linguistic approach
Sylvester, L.M. 2004. Evidence for diachronic semantic change in the historical thesaurus of English: a cognitive linguistic approach. in: Moskowich-Spiegel Fandiño, I. and Crespo García, B. (ed.) New trends in English historical linguistics: an Atlantic view Coruna, Spain Universidade de Coruña. pp. 189-221

Categories and taxonomies: a cognitive approach to lexicographical resources
Sylvester, L.M. 2004. Categories and taxonomies: a cognitive approach to lexicographical resources. in: Kay, C.J. and Smith, J.J. (ed.) Categorization in the history of English Amsterdam, Netherlands John Benjamins.

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/vqqz8/semantic-shift-in-middle-english-farming-and-trade-as-test-cases


Share this

Usage statistics

76 total views
1 total downloads
These values cover views and downloads from WestminsterResearch and are for the period from September 2nd 2018, when this repository was created.